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Global plastic market outlook for passenger cars

Release time: 2022-12-14 14:35:38      Number of hits: 225

Automobile is one of the important terminal industries of chemical products. When the financial crisis hit in 2008, with the bankruptcy of major OEM manufacturers in the United States, the global automotive industry faced unprecedented uncertainty challenges. Several major auto companies in the United States have filed for bankruptcy protection, which has had an impact on the entire industry and even the global auto industry chain. From the IT solution providers in India to the suppliers of finished vehicle manufacturing materials, or the suppliers of plastics, rubber, coatings and adhesives, they have been greatly affected. As the use of plastic in passenger cars has greatly reduced the carbon emissions of the whole vehicle, and electric vehicles continue to be favored by the market, the automotive industry will maintain strong demand for plastic parts in the future.

Global plastic market outlook for passenger cars

Passenger cars are generally divided into four categories: basic passenger cars (sedans), multipurpose passenger vehicles (MPVs), sports multipurpose passenger vehicles (SUVs) and cross-over passenger vehicles (Crossover).

Plastic components used in passenger cars include PP polypropylene, PU polyurethane, PA polyamide, ABS, PC polycarbonate, PBT polybutylene terephthalate, PPO polyphenyl ether, thermosetting composite plastics and other high-performance composite plastics.

The applications of plastic additives in the automotive industry include plasticizers, impact modifiers, UV curing agents, antioxidants and flame retardants. Different plastic additives can be added into the base polymer to have different properties. For example, plastic additives can be used to prevent polymer degradation in various complex environments. These plastic additives are mainly used in the interior, exterior and engine parts of passenger cars.

Because of its small weight, good formability and variable hardness, plastic parts are increasingly widely used in automobile interior, exterior and engine parts. In recent years, the consumption of automobile plastic parts has increased rapidly. According to Frost&Sullivan's statistics, the weight of plastic parts of automobiles accounted for only 11% of the total vehicle weight in 2008 from the global average level. It is expected that the proportion of plastic parts in the total vehicle weight will further increase between 2009 and 2012. Although the global auto production and sales declined due to the financial crisis in 2008, the trend of plastic parts replacing steel parts will not change in the long run.

Reducing the weight of the whole vehicle and improving the fuel efficiency of the vehicle are the biggest driving force to promote the application of automotive plastic parts. In the past decade, airbag, in-car entertainment system and air conditioning have gradually become the standard configuration of most passenger cars. However, the addition of these configurations also increases the weight of the whole vehicle, thus increasing the fuel consumption of the whole vehicle. Statistics show that every 100 kg increase in the weight of the same car will increase the fuel consumption by 0.6 litres per 100 km. Under the pressure of energy conservation and emission reduction, and driven by increasingly stringent environmental regulations, automobile manufacturers in Europe and the United States have to focus on improving fuel efficiency. The use of plastic parts in passenger cars can not only reduce the consumption of steel, but also help to reduce the weight of the whole vehicle and achieve the purpose of saving fuel consumption. Therefore, it is expected that the consumption of automotive plastics will further expand in the next few years.

The introduction of new cars and the application of new technologies are expected to have a profound impact on the types of automotive plastics. In recent years, with the emergence of new models such as electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles, the vehicle manufacturing industry has put forward new requirements for suppliers of interior and exterior components and engine components. The research and development of new plastic components that can not only control vehicle weight, reduce fuel consumption, but also maintain a certain strength has become one of the urgent tasks of relevant component material suppliers. For plastic parts suppliers, the continuous demand for plastic parts in the passenger car market indicates a great opportunity for the development of the automotive plastic market. However, due to the low recycling rate of plastic parts for vehicles at this stage, if the plastic parts suppliers want to meet the strict environmental protection requirements of developed countries such as Europe and the United States, they also need to work hard to improve the recycling rate of plastic parts.

The consumption of plastic parts for passenger cars is closely related to the economic development level and environmental awareness of the local market. Europe and the United States and other developed countries pay more attention to environmental protection, and the proportion of plastic parts used in the whole vehicle is high. However, in developing countries such as India and China, the automobile market is still in its infancy, and the proportion of plastic parts used in the body is not high. It is expected that the opportunities of automotive plastics market in developing countries will be further expanded in the next few years.

In 2008, Frost&Sullivan estimated that the global plastic market for passenger cars was 15.4 billion euros. Because of its close relationship with the automobile manufacturing industry, the development of the plastic market for passenger cars has also been affected by the financial crisis. The vehicle manufacturing rate has a great impact on the passenger car plastic industry.

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